Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

I had an opportunity to draw with other artists at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston while I was on my trip to Massachusetts. I was under the impression that it was going to be from a live model, but apparently, once a month, they choose to draw from the collection (and this happened to be that day). I was quite disappointed at first, but not for long, as it gave me time to go thru the museum and visit some old friends (like the Sargent murals that were specifically made for this museum). Some of my favorite paintings are housed in this building (a sacred place for me). I can't believe how spoiled I was to grow up looking at these works. The MFA is undergoing an extensive renovation, adding on an entire new wing to house their American Collection, so only a few American greats were on view while the others are faithfully being restored and kept safe.

Here are a few of my favorite paintings and sculptures that were on view. Please visit the MFA any time you are in Boston.

John Singer Sargent, Murals for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

Take a close look at the ladies laying at Atlas' feet above and then marvel at Gustave Dore's large scale, multi-figural, high relief sculpture which is just at the end of the hall from the Sargent Rotunda.

Gustave Dore, Maenads in a Wood, 1879, plaster, 47 1/4 x 77 3/16 x 9 7/8 in. (and detail shot)

Another example of wonderful exhibition design can be found around the top of the stairs (which brings you closer to the Sargent Rotunda) behind a colonnade. There you can find some of the finest paintings by Sargent's contemporaries and rivals such as...

Thomas Eakins, The Dean's Roll Call,1899, oil on canvas, 84 1/8 x 42 in.

Aunders Zorn, Martha Dana (later Mrs. William Mercer), 1899, oil on canvas, 27 x 20 in.

Gretchen Woodman Rogers, Woman in a Fur Hat, about 1915, oil on canvas, 30 x 25 1/4 in.

Cecilia Beaux, Charles Sumner Bird and His Sister Edith Bird Bass, 1907 oil on canvas, 94 5/8 x 53 1/2 in.

Other favorite works of mine that are else where in the museum are as follows:
Edmund Charles Tarbell, Reverie (Katharine Finn), 1913, oil on canvas, 50 1/8 x 34 1/8 in. (and detail shot)
Edmund Charles Tarbell, New England Interior, 1906, 30 3/8 x 25 1/4 in.

Ellen Day Hale, Self Portrait, 1883, oil on canvas, 28 1/2 x 39 in (and detail shot)

I had not previously seen the painting below before. I am so attracted to this painting, as several years back, I had painted a similar scene which you can view here. Of course, I realize my Music Maker pales in comparison.
William H. W. Bicknell, The Violin Maker, 1888, oil on canvas, 40 1/4 x 50 in. (and detail shot)
Jules Desbois, Le Printemps, 1893, black wax over plaster, 18 1/2 in. high
"Jules Desbois collaborated on occasion with Auguste Rodin, who praised Desbois by saying that he practiced sculpture with a fever that bordered on the religious" (quoted off the description card on the wall).

Auguste Rodin, Psyche, 1899, marble, 29 x 27 x 15 in.

I did manage to use a bit of the time to do one quick drawing of a marble youth from between 1cBC - 1cAD.

Study of a Roman Youth Sculpture
graphite on paper (in sketchbook)

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